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Old 01-04-2014, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
11,920 posts, read 13,318,325 times
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I'm looking into the 3D printer market. There are a few consumer versions out there that are reasonably affordable...

MBot MB3D101Cube II 3D Printer - Rakuten.com Shopping

This one, at about $1500 doesn't seem too bad, for what it is.

I would be interested to learn what the capabilities are of these little toys. Obviously, this probably won't be much more than a hobby toy, but it would be a good way to at least give them a test drive on my own time.

Has anyone tested them out personally? Does anyone own one? I would be interested to know what other expenses are involved besides the "ink". Problem with new tech, and particularly new machines... Someone has to stumble upon their quirks first. I'd kinda like to avoid that headache...
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
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I do know this, if your worried about avoiding headaches, 3D Printing isnt for you yet. The entire technology is still developing, and they require extensive computer knowledge and 3D design to really print something.

The real question is -- What do you want to print?
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
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MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer

$1375!!!
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:37 AM
 
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They are still pretty expensive for trying them out . However I am definately looking forward to the 3D printers being mainstream.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:36 PM
 
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Here's a potentially interesting application for the use of 3D printing. As they seem to indicate, it's not yet perfected and still needs a lot of work. But, man, how cool is this?



Blind People Could See 3D-Printed Celestial Objects, Say Hubble Scientists | Video - YouTube
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,105 posts, read 20,413,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanCol View Post
They are still pretty expensive for trying them out . However I am definately looking forward to the 3D printers being mainstream.
Agreed. This is exciting technology and will change everything in the next 20 years. However it's not quite ready for main stream use yet.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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I do. I'm an engineer and currently working with 3D printing technology for some of our products. Basically I'm just doing capability studies right now and researching the potential.

We've used some of the plastic printers, experimenting in different materials. The printers were use are in the ballpark of $20K+ however.

Currently researching DLMS (Direct metal laser Sintering), which is a process that creates metal components using a 3D layering and sintering machine. Cost of one of these is probably $500k or so.

The technology is new, costs are high, but there definitely is progress being made.
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonMike7 View Post
I do. I'm an engineer and currently working with 3D printing technology for some of our products. Basically I'm just doing capability studies right now and researching the potential.

We've used some of the plastic printers, experimenting in different materials. The printers were use are in the ballpark of $20K+ however.

Currently researching DLMS (Direct metal laser Sintering), which is a process that creates metal components using a 3D layering and sintering machine. Cost of one of these is probably $500k or so.

The technology is new, costs are high, but there definitely is progress being made.
I believe you mentioned in a thread that you were also working with CNC machines. If so, this link is for you

Rapid Prototyping Machine | 3D Printing, plus much more in one machine

I would drop some serious dough to spend a day with this bad boy

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanCol View Post
They are still pretty expensive for trying them out . However I am definately looking forward to the 3D printers being mainstream.
That's what I have been reading. They are kind of finicky, and it often takes some trial and error when it comes to getting something right. Well, that often the case with dated and proven tech as well. People don't quite understand how particular some technology can be.

I saw a 3D printing kit for sale, running about $450 each. They give you the ingredients, and you simply assemble them. You also have to go to the hardware store for things like screws, which is cheaper due to shipping costs. At that price point, I would be very interested... They can be a PITA though. If things aren't done just right, and everything is not cleaned spotless, it's problems and headaches galore.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
8,827 posts, read 9,045,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andywire View Post
I believe you mentioned in a thread that you were also working with CNC machines. If so, this link is for you

Rapid Prototyping Machine | 3D Printing, plus much more in one machine

I would drop some serious dough to spend a day with this bad boy


.
Yeah. That's a nice one. Trying to talk the boss into a DLMS machine, but I have a lot of work ahead of me to justify that purchase.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
11,920 posts, read 13,318,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonMike7 View Post
Yeah. That's a nice one. Trying to talk the boss into a DLMS machine, but I have a lot of work ahead of me to justify that purchase.
You'd need quite an abundance of highly complex work, featuring tricky or nearly impossible geometry to justify such an expense.

Is this a job shop or a primary manufacturer?

Nobody is doubting that 3D "printing" technology will be an integral part of the future in the manufacturing world. Thing is, everybody is waiting for the other guy to make the investment, then figure out how and where it should be utilized. People buy machines for the work they have today... Not the work they think they might have 10 years from now. The tech will be cheaper in the future, and the work requiring it will be well known and more abundant... So why buy now if you're a typical cash strapped, debt-ridden manufacturer?

I've talked about the tech a few times with the shop owner. Both of us agree that it has a long ways to go before it will be useful in the average job shop. For what the capabilities are today, this technology just doesn't help in the environment I'm in. It's never as simple as just printing something out either. The product still requires secondary work. It's akin to a mold casting, without having to build the mold. Molds are expensive, but that still doesn't justify the cost of a half million dollar "printer" quite yet. And that's not your only expense. The actual material costs is far and above that of typical material purchased from a traditional supplier.
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